Tag Archives: michelle grattan

Grattan on Friday / government should tone down ideology and turn up common sense

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, usually sharp-witted and articulate, entered an Orwellian zone this week. Trying to explain away Tony Abbott’s pre-election promise of “no cuts to the ABC or SBS”, Turnbull argued Abbott had said it in one interview the night before the election but he, Turnbull, and Joe […]

An unexpected win for consumers of financial advice comes out of PUP implosion

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AUSTRALIA’S financial services industry has been thrown into turmoil by the spectacular implosion of the Palmer United Party (PUP) and an independent stand by its supposed ally, Motoring Enthusiast Ricky Muir. Wednesday night’s disallowance, by a 32-30 vote, of the government’s regulations that unwound Labor’s Future of Financial Advice […]

Grattan / Xi gives reassuring message about China’s benign intentions

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CHINESE President Xi Jinping has declared that “big guy” China is dedicated to pursuing peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region in a speech urging that China and Australia “jointly meet various security challenges to our region”. Addressing federal parliament, Xi said Australia and China should be “harmonious neighbours […]

G20 summit successful but untidy for Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Tony Abbott always said he wanted the Brisbane G20 to come up with practical actions and a communique of no more than three pages. He achieved both objectives – although the communique had a mass of attached documents. Notably, the leaders have endorsed reform plans aimed at significantly lifting […]

Grattan / Palmer tells ‘drama queen’ Lambie to put up or shut up

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CLIVE Palmer has lashed out at his Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie, calling her a “drama queen” and telling her to challenge his leadership or “get on with the job” of representing her voters. After some time trying to avoid further inflaming tensions with the outspoken Tasmanian senator, […]

Grattan / Abbott’s blindsided by US-China climate deal

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER Tony Abbott did everything he could to keep discussion of climate change out of the G20, he has been ambushed almost on the eve of the weekend meeting. The Prime Minister did not have forewarning of the United States-China agreement on post-2020 emissions reductions, according to government sources. […]

Grattan / Young people could be worse off than parents in crucial areas

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra YOUNG Australians will be better off than their parents in health, technology and incomes but could be worse off in employment, housing, costs of living, the environment and quality of education, according to a report released today. Prepared by the Foundation for Young Australians, the Renewing Australia’s Promise report […]

Grattan on Friday / Game of cat-and-bear as Abbott pursues Putin

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Russians have started coming. On Thursday, an aircraft with about 80-90 Russians arrived in preparation for the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane. There will be four more official planes, including President Vladimir Putin’s, a back-up, and one for cargo. As Team Russia assembles, Tony Abbott and Putin are […]

Grattan on Friday / Abbott government gets some wins – and gives the odd hostage to the future

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IN a move that channels John Howard, Tony Abbott has put changing the GST on the political agenda, just over a year after assuring the public it would not be altered, “full stop, end of story”. In the run-up to the 1996 election, Howard said there would “never ever” […]

With friends like the Feds, life becomes even harder for Napthine government

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ON the ropes already and facing the polls on November 29, the Victorian Liberals have yet again been knocked by their federal colleagues. Tuesday’s move to reintroduce fuel indexation by the tariff route, with the gamble that validating legislation will get through later, is a clever tactic from a […]

Grattan / Abbott floats GST change but puts limits on commitment to major federation reform

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE headline out of Tony Abbott’s weekend Henry Parkes Oration on federalism was his highlighting that the federal government is willing to contemplate a more onerous GST – on certain conditions. The more subtle message was his note of hesitancy about charging full bore ahead on trying to dramatically […]

Grattan on Friday / Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister – a thought for the future

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AS the Nationals this week celebrated their greatest leader, John McEwen, with a reissued autobiography, a question mark hung over the future of current leader Warren Truss. There is an expectation within the party that Deputy Prime Minister Truss, 66, will not contest the next election, something on which […]

Grattan / Some diplomatic dancing over the Abbott-Putin encounter

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott did not repeat his pledge to “shirt-front” Vladimir Putin when pressed on the subject a day after his initial threat. Now the promise is for a “very, very robust conversation” with the Russian president, assuming he does come to the G20 in Brisbane next month. Abbott said […]

Grattan on Friday / Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir would probably be counter-productive – even if it were possible

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FAIRFAX journalist Tony Wright tweeted on Thursday: “In-air bombing operational details against enemy on the bullhorn, on-water operational matters against leaky boats at 6 fathoms.” It’s a pretty accurate summation of the government’s broad approach: maximum publicity for anything considered likely to play positively in political terms, and deep […]

Grattan / ASIO history: chasing Russian spies and local communists

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra RECENTLY ASIO has taken on a quite public face in the discussion about fighting terrorism. Its immediate past chief, David Irvine, and its new head, Duncan Lewis, have appeared at ministerial news conferences; the organisation has publicly and strongly defended its push for greater powers. Now the first of […]